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Avoid Fighting With Family This Holiday

Do your relatives always seem to get on your last nerve during the holidays? If so, we’ve got some advice that should help. According to etiquette experts Peggy Post, there are three things you need to remember: consideration, respect and honesty. These should help diffuse the tension before things get heated. Here are a few more tips for squelching holiday squabbles:

  • Anticipate conflicts. Post says plan ahead. If you can anticipate what conflicts are likely to come up – like the fact that Grandma is still mad at you for ruining your cousin’s surprise birthday party – you can plan a response in advance. This’ll help you avoid the knee-jerk reactions that tend to make matters worse. For example, you might laugh and say, “Grandma, you’re very impressive when it comes to holding a grudge.” And then switch the subject.

 

  • Share the work. One of the biggest sources of tension is when one person tries to prepare a feast by themselves. So, ask relatives to help with the cooking instead of bringing gifts. This way it won’t fall on one person’s shoulders financially or physically. Get very specific about what each person should bring. This way each person will have contributed equally – and sharing the workload is a good way to avoid short fuses.

 

  • Be inclusive. If your family includes people of different religions or ethnicities, include traditions that’ll make everyone feel welcome. According to Post, this doesn’t mean you have to join in any rituals that make you uncomfortable. But honoring your relatives’ traditions can make your holiday gatherings more agreeable. And nobody wants to feel left out, so make sure everyone can celebrate their own way. If you’d like to go further, check out the 17th edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette by Peggy Post. Read more [+]

How To Keep Your Marriage Fresh After 50

If you’re over 50, your relationship may be heading for a “gray divorce.” That’s the term researchers are using for the unusually high divorce rate among people age 50 and up. While the overall divorce rate has held steady in recent years, the rate among people over 50 has doubled in the last two decades. Also, a new study shows that people on their 2nd or 3rd marriage have a 150% greater chance of divorcing after age 50, compared to before age 50! The trend is so common, that researchers at Bowling Green State University are calling this: “The Gray Divorce Revolution.”

So, what’s going on? Rachel Sussman is a licensed therapist who wrote the book The Breakup Bible. And she says a lot of it boils down to the fact that 70% of today’s divorces are initiated by women! She says until recently, a lot of women stayed in unhappy marriages because they didn’t think they had other options. But today, women have more confidence and financial independence than ever before. And that’s especially true after age 50 – when most women are done raising kids.

Plus, Sussman says today’s older women now have access to dating websites and social media. That makes it easier to meet new people – or connect with old flames – and they take away the fear many 50-somethings used to have about being alone.

Basically, Sussman says more women are reaching their 50s and asking questions like: “Does this relationship bring me enough happiness and security to stay in it?” And if the answer is “no,” then they’re not afraid to leave.

The good news is that there are many ways to avoid the Gray Divorce Revolution, by keeping your marriage fresh after 50. Here are some tips from life coach Jean Grossman:

  • Try something new. Because Grossman says one of the greatest gifts you can bring to your relationship is bringing excitement and vitality to YOUR life – even if it doesn’t include your partner. So, pursue things that interest you – like cooking, traveling, or getting more culture at museums. Grossman says when you pursue interests that excite you, you’ll both benefit.

 

  • Stay curious. Our expert says the next time your partner makes a statement like, “you’re never there for me,” don’t get defensive and argue about it. Instead, get curious and ask: “What do you mean by ‘not there’?” Grossman says the reality is that your spouse may have specific reasons that you’ve never considered before. And when you’re curious in your relationship, it can generally open the door for new intimacy.

 

  • Live every day like it’s your last. Grossman says a lot of us feel unhappy in marriage because we feel stuck. But it could just be because we’ve gotten too comfortable in a routine, which causes us to take our partner for granted. So, ask yourself: Is it time to let go of having the same breakfast every morning, or the same dinner date every Friday night? More importantly, are you grateful for what you have? Grossman says many times, a change in your routine can give you a way of discovering more gratitude for your life, and your partner. Read more [+]

Daddy Diaries: Using Technology For Holiday Shopping

I really do have the best wife on the planet, but that’s not what this post is about. She has this incredible ability to get the perfect gift for any occasion – whether it’s for the kids, our friends, or anyone else! Of course, that leaves me with the tough task of getting those great gifts for her, too.

I’m a guy, so I hate shopping. I think that’s part of most men’s DNA. Last year, I decided to shop both in stores and online. But I never really found what I was looking for, so, I settled for what I thought would be okay. Let’s just say they weren’t my best choices. So, I’ve vowed this year, that’s all going to change.

I solemnly swear that every gift I buy for my wife – whether from myself or from my kids – will be bought through the miracle of online commerce. I’ve been gathering ideas all year and putting them in my Evernote app, so I’m fully prepared when it’s time to log on and melt the credit card online. I found gifts large and small, romantic and funny, expensive and ridiculous. I found cards, gift bags (because men don’t wrap gifts, we just stuff them into a bag and put tissue paper around them), and just about everything else I need to make my wife think I spent hours running around to find the perfect gifts for her. Unless, of course, she reads this blog…

I’ve already bought some things, consciously avoiding Cyber Monday, or any other manufactured date to spend money online. My price alerts have been set, and I’ve even signed up for e-mail notifications to fill my inbox and remind me to buy the things on my list. And most importantly, I won’t be in some crowded store on December 23rd or 24th, like I have many times throughout my adult life.

Yeah baby, I’m going to harness technology and let it work for me, so I don’t have to run around like a crazy man looking for the perfect Christmas gift. Let’s just hope everything I want is in stock. Read more [+]

Woman Snuggles Up to Make a Living (Inside Edition)

A man and woman cuddling together would look like any ordinary couple sleeping peacefully in bed.

But, one woman is actually a professional snuggler. Jackie Samuel charges $60 an hour. In return, complete strangers can snuggle up next to her in bed. Even women enjoy cuddling with Samuel.

“People definitely tell me that they feel calmer and more connected afterwards,” Samuel told INSIDE EDITION.

The 29-year-old has started a company, The Snuggery, with the slogan, “Take a break. Have a snuggle.”

Her clients range in age from 18 to 83.

Read more [+]

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